New Britain, CT - The Rock Cats and Trenton Thunder played into the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday evening at New Britain Stadium before rain suspended the game with Trenton ahead 2-1. The final inning and a third will start up at 6:35 p.m. and once that game goes final, there will be a 30 minute intermission and then a nine-inning contest is to follow.
Visiting Trenton jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame, collecting two hits off of starter RHP Virgil Vasquez. CF Mason Williams, who led off with an opposite field single that shot between third and short, scored on a sacrifice fly to deep center hit by LF Ben Gamel. DH Francisco Cervelli, the Yankees catcher who is continuing his rehab stint in New Britain this weekend, drew a walk against the righthander.
The score would remain that way until DH Reynaldo Rodriguez hammered a solo shot off of Trenton reliever RHP Zach Nuding in the bottom of the fourth to knot the score up 1-1. Outside of the home run, both Nuding and starter LHP Manny Banuelos proved to be quite the duo for the Thunder. Combining for seven innings of work, they only allowed the one run on three hits while striking out eight and walking one.
Trenton would break the tie in the top of the eighth on a 2B Casey Stevenson single that scored RF Taylor Dugas, pushing Trenton ahead 2-1. Dugas cracked a triple to deep center off of RHP Matt Summers in the previous at-bat, giving the Thunder one of the few offensive sparks of the evening.
Vasquez battled through six innings, allowing just the one run while scattering four hits, striking out six and issuing three walks.
Friday's game continues Saturday evening starting at 6:35 p.m. and then it is Rock Cats LHP Pat Dean squaring off against Trenton starter LHP Eric Wooten for the second game.